Here is the full text of Chancellor Gordon Brown's speech to the annual Labour Party conference in Brighton.
Let me first thank you, each of you, and through you the hundreds, the thousands, of Labour Party members for the work done, week in week out, year in year out, to secure a historic third term victory, a victory not just in Labour votes and in Labour seats: but a victory for our Labour values. And let us recognise the debt we owe to Tony Blair for this achievement.
It was only because of our victory that
yesterday on your behalf in Washington at the IMF and World Bank, Britain was able to propose and achieve for the poorest countries £55bn of debts written off for ever, the delivery of debt cancellation of 100%t.
And Hilary Benn and I want to thank you and the churches, faith groups, and all decent minded people committed to make poverty history.
It is because of you that the world has come together to double aid to Africa. It is because of your commitment that within five years millions more aids sufferers will have help. It is because of your persistence that 11 European governments -and I am proud that Europe has led the way - are now pledged as we are to meet the UN target of 0.7% of national income spent on aid.
And it is because of your efforts that in the last few days we have also announced a $4bn finance facility for immunisation that in Africa and Asia will save the lives of 10 million children. So don't let the cynics tell you aid doesn't work, that governments can't make a difference and that all politicians are the same: what doesn't work is doing nothing.
And this year let us do more. Because if we are to make poverty history, we must make the scandal and waste of agricultural protectionism history. Let us make agricultural export subsides history. Let us seek to make the excesses of the CAP history.
And because we owe it to all the people who suffer needless pain and avoidable deaths, owe it to every child denied the chance of school, owe it to every human being who goes hungry every night, let us join together to affirm that to finally and truly make poverty history, Britain will lead a worldwide effort to ensure for the poorest countries universal free public services: universal free schooling for all children and free universal health care for all who need it.
This is a year which has brought the world's greatest natural disaster the tsunami, witnessed hurricanes cause havoc and hurt some of the poorest people in the richest country in the world, seen London move in just one day from the joy we all share of becoming an Olympic city to the horror of home grown suicide bombers maiming and killing fellow Britain citizens.
With us yesterday were some of the thousands of public servants who on July 7th did not falter and did not fail but selflessly - even when some were injured - served the public first - treating the wounded, comforting the bereaved, never asking what was the creed or colour or religion of those they helped: public service at its best, not just a career but a calling, the ethic of duty, care, compassion and service, they are the quiet heroes of our country and we pay tribute to them today.
And let no one doubt that we will spend what it takes, bear each and every hardship, endure each and every sacrifice, and as Jack Straw, Charles Clarke and John Reid have said both internationally in Afghanistan and Iraq and at home we will at all times have the strength and resolution so that there is no hiding place for terrorists - or those who finance terrorism - and so we will protect and defend the security of the people of this country.
And we will have the strength and resolution to take the right long term economic decisions too.
Why has it been that at every point since 1997 faced with the Asian crisis, the IT collapse, a stock exchange crash, an American recession, last year a house price bubble, this year rising world oil prices, why has it been that at every point since 1997 Britain uniquely has continued to grow?
In any other decade a house price bubble would have pushed Britain from boom to bust.
In any other decade a doubling of oil prices would have put Britain first in last out and worst hit by a world downturn.
I tell you: it is because with Bank of England independence, cutting debt, fiscal discipline and the New Deal this Labour government has shown the strength to take the tough long term decisions that inflation is low, interest rates are low, growth has been sustained in every year, and we are closer than ever to the goal which drives us forward: the goal of full employment for our generation, Labour the natural party for economic strength in our country today.
Remember for 18 years the Tories said that the only way to arrest British economic decline was to condemn three million of our fellow citizens to unemployment, they said that to have a strong economy you had to abandon social justice.
We have proved that on the economy they were not only unfair, they were wrong.
Let us be proud that we, Labour, have proved that Britain can grow faster, create half a million businesses, add two million more jobs, and still double public spending on health, education, transport and policing and we should be proud we have so far also taken one million children and one million pensioners out of poverty, Britain showing the world that economic prosperity and social justice can advance together.
And friends we must not ever put the goal of full employment at risk by returning to the old days of inflationary pay rises and conflict, the old days of putting sectional interests ahead of the national interest, and we will and must continue to pursue what we promised in our manifesto: stability in economic management, stability in industry policy, stability in industrial relations, and stability in the public finances and in our demand for efficiency and value for money, a more personalised service, and accountability and real choices and the highest of standards in our public services.
And in the face of today's inflationary oil prices I give you the assurance that we will not be diverted; at all times we will continue to take the right long term decisions to maintain stability and prosperity for Britain.
And to steer that course of stability I call on world oil producers and oil companies now to support the British plan agreed this weekend by the whole international community to raise production, to open the books, prevent high prices hurting the poor, and - let us be clear - to do what should have been done years ago: to promote the environmental agenda for energy efficiency and alternative sources of energy.
And with the same strength and the same resolution we must meet and master what is now the biggest global industrial restructuring in our economic history and become the party of economic prosperity for Britain not just for this decade but for the next.
The rise of China - now producing almost half the world's electronic goods and soon half the world's clothes.
Everywhere the pace of innovation is faster than ever before, everyday global competition more threatening than ever before.
And I tell you: in face of this global challenge let us agree that we will not make the mistake of the nineteen thirties and - as John Prescott said yesterday - there will be no retreat into protectionism and there will be no retreat into anti-Europeanism because, unlike the Tories, we see British engagement in an outward looking reforming Europe as essential for Britain's future.
And we will not either make the mistakes of the 1920s and we will not surrender to a Tory do-nothing, free market dogma. Our choice not protectionism, not isolationism, not laissez faire but mobilising the skills, ideas and talents of all the British people.
Because we the Labour Party understand that in this new world a nation cannot be first in prosperity if you are second in education.
So our economic goal now and for the future must be to become the world's number one power in education. And that means matching the best in the world for standards in our schools, leading in science, excelling for the creativity and inventiveness of all our people.
And how will this be done? The lesson is that at a time when China and India are producing four million graduates a year, we Britain - a small country - cannot now afford to neglect the potential of any single child, or to write off the talents of any single young person. Indeed because in this new world the only way to realise the potential of each of us is to realise the potential of all of us, let us agree that a Labour Britain will, for the first time, offer education not - as under the Tories from five to 16 - but with Labour from the age of three to the age of 18. And we should be proud too that for the first time Britain is are offering and financing the right to lifelong learning including trade union learning open to every adult.
And because no child, even the most troubled child, should be left behind, we must, as Ruth Kelly has said, intervene early. And instead of a dozen agencies spending £100,000 a year per child and often not solving the problem, there will be one lead professional, in time also the one account holder for that £100,000, with the freedom and capacity to do what is right for that child.
And let us also agree an industry a plan that first making our universities world class, second investing long term in science, third encouraging enterprise and - fourth - with the new manufacturing service and forum, offering, as Alan Johnson and Alistair Darling are announcing, practical financial support for innovation, engineering, the regions and our transport and infrastructure, all so that we will build for Britain and all our regions and nations, modern manufacturing strength.
And because it is unacceptable that in the European single market Britain loses out to those who flout the rules, we will use our European presidency to champion economic reform and to open up competition and we will work to ensure that British inventions can and will mean British jobs in British companies for British workers.
And because, with Labour, Britain will not compete on lower pay but on higher skills, we will do what the Tories have never, in all their two hundred years history, been prepared to do: from next week we will again raise the national minimum wage, up 40% since we introduced it, and I want to thank all those who campaigned successfully to extend the minimum wage for the first time to 16 and 17 year olds.
And because it is wrong to penalise public sector workers when they are facing necessary change, let us tell them that we will meet our pledge to end the two tier workforce, in each and every area - including paid holidays - honouring our Warwick commitments.
Because no employer should ever be allowed to cut corners that puts lives and safety at risk, we will do what the Tories never would: we will legislate against the crime of corporate manslaughter and we will take power to root out gangmasters guilty of deadly abuses.
And let me repeat our fundamental commitment to justice for all those on pensions and planning their pensions.
It was a scandal that men and women who lost their jobs when firms went under lost their pensions too, and we should be proud that in the last year it is Labour that has created the first ever pension protection fund, Labour that has provided £400m more for those who lost out in past years, Labour that has made the promise that in the spending round the £400m will be reviewed and it is Labour that as David Blunkett has said has established the pension commission and asked them to examine the case for moving beyond voluntarism.
Labour the party of the first ever winter allowance, the first ever free TV licenses, the first ever national system for free local bus travel and the first ever Pension Credit helping two million pensioners: all measures on our way to ensuring that not just some but all our pensioners have justice and dignity in retirement.
And none of these challenges could ever be met by Tory free market dogma, or by Liberal incoherence.
Just last week the Liberals told us how tough they wanted to be, how they were now facing up to the difficult decisions, how we would see - and this was their slogan - tough liberalism in action.
When you see them in local government, when did Liberals ever face up to a tough decision? And how did their toughness manifest itself last week?
They dropped their tax pledges, but they kept all their spending pledges. So in the run up to the local elections let us expose a Liberal Party whose sums and whole philosophy never add up, so opportunist locally and nationally that today they are simply incapable of facing up to the big economic challenges.
And what of the Conservatives? They know that to make the public forget the miseries of the pre 1997 years they need new faces, modern ideas, a fresh start, a clean break.
And who have emerged as the new faces? Kenneth Clarke - former Tory Chancellor, Malcolm Rifkin - former Tory Foreign Secretary, David Davies - former Minister for Europe- Liam Fox, former Foreign Office Minister and David Cameron - the only new face - is an old Etonian.
Their answer to their problems: not new twenty first century conservatives. Today's Tory Party simply the same old rerun of the same old boys' network.
Since 1997 the Tories have had: four leaders, now four systems for electing their leader. Seven shadow chancellors, I remember them well, well most of them, and I look forward to welcoming the eighth. With the current one they made a virtue of skipping a generation on the evidence so far they should probably skip another one. Four leaders, six shadow chief secretaries, seven trade and industry spokesmen. All reflecting one fundamental problem: they remain wedded to an out of date free market dogma so backward looking that cannot begin to prepare Britain for the tasks ahead.
What is their new big idea? A flat tax. An idea that they say is sweeping the world, well sweeping Estonia, well a wing of the neo conservatives in Estonia. The Tories promising to do for national tax what they did for local tax with their last big idea, the poll tax. And let the flat tax go the way of the poll tax.
The millionaire to pay exactly the same tax rate as the young nurse, the home help, the worker on the minimum wage. The price tag - £50bn of cuts in public services. It's clear that they've already decided they've lost the last three elections not because they were too right wing but not right wing enough. Let us tell the electorate at the local elections and at every election that the party that gave you the poll tax and now threatens the flat tax has learnt nothing and forgotten nothing, totally incapable of equipping Britain for the years ahead.
So when the Tories tell you the next election will be old Labour versus new conservatives, tell them the truth. The next election must and will be new Labour renewed against a Conservative Party still incapable of renewal.
When they tell you that at the next election we will abandon reform in Britain, tell them the Labour Party was founded so that by our Labour values we could reform Britain, that the great Labour governments of the last century were great because they were reforming progressive governments that transformed Britain, and that the only future of the Labour Party is as the Party of reform.
And the history of our movement tells us how we succeed in transforming our country: putting British values - fairness to all, responsibility from all - at the core of all we do, and reaching out to the country to build a progressive consensus around them.
Labour: the voice of the mainstream majority.
A Britain of aspiration and ambition and opportunity for all not just a few.
The mission, to build a progressive consensus for our time, and that is how we will not just inhabit the centre ground but dominate it.
And as befits us as a party that stands for progressive change, our focus is not on what we have achieved, important as it is, but on what we have yet to achieve.
And after eight years - when we are doing more than any government to widen opportunity, doing more to invest in our communities - we know also that we are as yet today a Britain of still too little opportunity, a Britain of still too little responsibility, a Britain of still too little community.
Parents struggling amidst an even faster pace of change to balance work and family life, young people with wider horizons than ever wanting in business, education, sport and the arts, more chances and choices to make more of themselves; as Tessa Jowell and Patricia Hewitt have said, women wanting this to be the generation where the promise of equality is finally and fully realized; citizens yearning for a stronger sense of community, free from the fear of crime and with the power to improve the quality of life in their area, people seeking new ways to engage, have their voices heard and build trust in our local and national life; across differences of race and religion men and women seeking a stronger foundation for community relations.
People for whom we, this generation's Labour party, have to find modern answers, meeting rising individual aspirations - the new twenty first century individualism - while also - and this is the new twenty first century citizenship - showing how a supportive community can empower and enable so that people can realise their potential as individuals and make a contribution to community life.
And we will respond in the pre budget report to the dream of young couples to own their own homes - with our plan for one million new affordable homes; meet the aspirations of workers who want to have a real stake in their firms with incentives for employee shares; and with the child trust fund ensure that five million children who do not have assets today will, by 2010, have assets of their own, striving for Britain to be a home-owning, share owning asset owning, wealth owning democracy, not just for some but for all: honouring our party's constitution - putting power wealth and opportunity in the hands of the many and not just the few.
Let me say to conference: I believe Tony Blair deserves huge credit not just for winning three elections but for leading the Labour party for more than a decade. And in the same way he deserves credit for leading us through these difficult and challenging years, he also deserves credit for now asking us and challenging us as a party to begin to plan ahead.
And because the renewal of new Labour will be as profound a challenge, as rigorous a task and as great an achievement as the creation of new Labour, I will - in the next year - visit every region and nation of our country, with you I want to listen, hear and learn and to discuss the economic, social and constitutional changes we need to build for the future.
And I believe that since 1997 as we have advanced toward full employment, reformed markets and state, mobilised the private sector as partners for the public interest, and promoted policies for social justice, we have not talked enough about their ethical foundations, of what, at root, gives purpose to our politics and builds trust in public service: the responsibilities we owe to each other and the opportunities it is our duty to extend - this is nothing less than the moral basis of the society we seek to create.
For why are we in politics? Why am I in politics? I will never forget what I was brought up to believe. I learned from my parents not just to do my best and to work hard but to treat everyone equally, to respect others, to tell the truth, to take responsibility. I learned from my mother and father that for every opportunity there was an obligation, for every demand a duty, for every chance given, a contribution to be made.
And when they said to me that for every right there was a responsibility, for them that was not just words. What they meant was quite simple and straightforward, for me my moral compass. In return for what we received we had a duty to put something back one moral community of fairness to all, responsibilities from all.
And what does this mean for our time? A welfare state where support when unemployed is matched by the duty to seek work and skills for work. In education, truly lifelong opportunities for learning for all, matched by responsibilities on all of us - employees and employers too- to make the most of them. In our health service, the right to the highest standard of free health care, matched by a sense of responsibility not to abuse that right. In community relations, the respect for diversity and the rights of individuals matched by the responsibility to integrate as a community and each play our part as citizens. In a family policy, in parenting contracts and orders, support for parents matched by responsibilities they accept. In corporate life, business valued and contributing to social progress, those at the top showing the same responsibility they ask of others. A youth policy tough on crime with faster youth justice and tough also on the causes of crime with better youth services. And for all of us a responsibility to each and every one of us not to pass by on the other side.
Britain no longer defined and diminished by the divisive ideology of them and us, of something for nothing, that denied Britain a shared national purpose and stripped away our sense of community. Britain no longer defined and weakened by the centralisation that forgot we are both individuals and neighbours. No longer 'the grab what you can' glorification of everyone for himself, no such thing as society' which told people to ask only what they could get for themselves.
Never again a Britain of them and us, never again the man in Whitehall knows best, but the Britain of we the British people, together: a great British society where a new generation of British people can aim as high as they can reach, are empowered to pursue their dreams, the spirit of British enterprise celebrated, a society that at the same time recognises that we are citizens as well as consumers, that the public square is more than a marketplace, that we are bound together by more than contracts markets and exchange - by a shared commitment to the ethics of duty service and care.
And nowhere does this come alive for us more than in our duty and determination as parents, as neighbours, as citizens, that every child can fulfil their potential and that no child is left out.
And it is here that our economic mission for Britain - to be number one in education - comes together with our moral cause - that every child has the best start in life, that no one is left behind, and I believe this is a vision that defines us as a community and as a country inspires a new sense of mission.
For it was an outrage that in the Tory years one child in every three born in our country was born into poverty, it was shameful that Britain had the worst record for child poverty of all the countries in Europe, it was an affront to human dignity that a poor child from a poor family was three times more likely to die before the age of one.
An assault on every idea we hold dear about equal opportunity that teenagers from poor families had a tenth of the chance of higher education.
Perhaps the greatest injustice of all is for millions of children never even to know what they had it in them to become.
Friends, the whole of human history until now can be seen as yes the triumph of the human spirit but yes also the tragic waste of vast reserves of human potential.
Our whole history as a nation the outpouring of great genius by some but the loss of the great potential of too many.
Reflect for a moment on the talent wasted, the loss of what might have been, the great music never composed, the great art never created, the great science never invented, the great books never written.
And if in this generation we neglect the potential of still too many of our children, if we do not learn from past mistakes and again write off the talents of still too many young people, think of the individual dreams unfulfilled, the hopes dashed, the ambitions crushed, the potential wasted.
And for Britain, society weakened, culture depleted, prosperity diminished, progress denied, our country losing something of its innermost soul.
So let ours be the last generation that developed only some of the potential of some of the people, and let us be the first generation to commit itself to developing all of the potential of all of the people.
So every time, child tax credits lift a child out of poverty, every time a child who would have denied opportunities under the Tories enjoys early learning with sure start, every time a teenager who under the Tories would have left school without qualifications stays on because of educational maintenance allowances, let us celebrate this as a victory not just for these young people but a victory for our Labour values.
And let us promise ourselves that within five years time we will meet even more challenging goals: help three million children onto sure start, provide educational maintenance allowances for all teenagers who need them, increase the rights and responsibilities of families so that we can meet our objective: to halve child poverty by 2010 on the road to abolishing it in a generation.
And when Conservatives say the abolition of child poverty, giving every child the best start, becoming number one in education, when they tell us these are impossible ambitions and unrealisable dreams, let us remind them of the history of Great Britain:
That reactionaries told us that to abolish slavery was an impossible cause.
Conservatives said that to end child Labour was an economic and social disaster.
Cynics told us education beyond elementary school was wasteful and unaffordable.
The right wing told us that health care could never be anything other than bought and sold in the marketplace or left to charity.
So when Conservatives tell us today that ending child poverty is a naïve hope, an unrealistic ideal, tell them there was a generation of decent, committed and visionary British people that led the world and 200 years ago did abolish slavery - tell them there was a generation of British citizens that led the world and 150 years ago did abolish child Labour. A generation that led the world and 100 years ago created free universal education for every child. and having achieved the greatest of goals, moved on to lead the world yet again and 50 years ago a new generation of British men and women created our national health service to deliver universal free health care for all.
Tell them that it was not pessimists and reactionaries who built Britain's greatness but visionaries, optimists, and idealists.
And so when it is asked centuries from now who were the people who rid this country of child poverty, who gave every child the best start in life, let it be said it was this Labour party, this Labour government, this generation of dedicated men and women who led the way.
I think today of those we have lost. I think of Robin Cook, Mo Mowlam and Jim Callaghan
How would they wish to be remembered?
Not for titles, status, power or wealth but for the great difference they made.
And what do we want to be remembered for? Yes that as individuals we eased someone's loneliness, lifted someone's spirits, we helped someone in trouble but even more, that as citizens of a community working together, we helped not just some but helped millions. That we demonstrated by our actions that we understood the pain and hopes of others. That in our day and in our generation we built a society of people who believing in something bigger than themselves created a Britain where by the strong helping the weak we are all stronger.
Our mission: new Labour renewed
Our values: fairness for all, responsibility from all
Our country: united as one moral community
A great British society
This we stand for
And this together we can and will achieve